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RFID and patient compliance

There are several major issues facing the pharmaceutical industry besides noncompliance.

These include mistakes in hospitals, and tighter distribution requirements to prevent against counterfeiting and negative environmental factors, said Mark Niemiec, president of DDMS Holding (a supplier of Drug Delivery Management Systems), at the Intelligent and Smart Packaging USA conference in January. He said that non-compliance of medications drains $100 billion/year from the economy, results in 10% of hospital admissions, and 23% of nursing home admissions. Intelligent packaging, including RFID technology, will play a major roll in addressing this issue, he said. The DDMS concept incorporates wireless RFID technology that allows real-time monitoring of drug compliance in any setting, including clinical trials, hospitals, nursing homes, and at home.

RFID on a blister

This technology works through the employment of an electrical circuit positioned on the backing of a blister package housing individual pills. When the backing is punctured to dispense the drug, an RFID chip will record the breaking of the circuit and transmit the data to a hand held reader, which Niemiec says could eventually be a cell phone. This data could then be transmitted to a hospital computer system or Web site. This data could then be accessed by doctors or family members concerned about the patient’s health.

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